File-Locker Service RapidShare Is Shutting Down

ZURICH — RapidShare, one of the first and most popular one-click file-locker services on the web, has called it quits.

Today, the 13-year-old, Swiss-based file-hosting service said, without explanation, that it would shut down next month.

The file-locker site became a scourge for the adult entertainment industry and found itself as a defendant in a number of copyright infringement suits.

RapidShare typically fought the battles and sought to point any liability at its users, who found ways to share content.

RapidShare doesn't cite any reason for the shutdown but it, like other file-locker companies, found their number of users shrinking after implementation of tough antipiracy measures.

Perfect 10, which for years has fought tooth and nail over its right to control its content, sued RapidShare three years ago over infringement claims.

Its founder, Norm Zada, who also has filed suits against other file-locker sites such as MegaUpload and GigaNews, found today’s news as a good sign against an industry racked by piracy.

“While this is a modest piece of good news for copyright holders, the world still desperately needs an Internet police force to deal with online crime,” Zada told XBIZ. 

“Online criminals are making billions of dollars each year at the expense of law abiding citizens and businesses, who are being substantially harmed by counterfeit products, copyright infringement, identity theft, and all types of online scams,” he said. “As it stands, when copyrights are stolen, there is no police to call. The victim must file suit and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, simply to get their property back, in essence. 

“The federal court system desperately needs more judges and should not be asked to handle such cases. It simply lacks the capacity currently to do so. There must be some type of worldwide police force established to deal with these issues, the sooner the better.”

Today RapidShare, which once was listed among the 50 most-visited sites on the web, is recommending that users store their files elsewhere.

“Kindly note that RapidShare will stop the active service on March 31st, 2015. Extensions of STANDARD PLUS and PREMIUM will be possible until February 28th, 2015,” RapidShare notes on its homepage.

“We strongly recommend all customers to secure their data. After March 31st, 2015 all accounts will no longer be accessible and will be deleted automatically,” it said.